On the morning of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 final, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter held a press conference at FIFA’s tournament headquarters in Bangkok. FIFA.com was on hand to hear what was said, and can bring you a summary of the participants’ quotes.
Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President
I would like to say a big thanks to Thailand. It is known as the land of smiles, and its hospitality is exceptional. The international FIFA family has been happy to be here for the last three weeks. As for the tournament itself, it’s the first time that we have played with 24 teams. That format is the right format, and we will continue with 24 teams in the future. I would also pass on my thanks to Suwat Liptapanlop and his local organising team; they had a big challenge and managed it well. Futsal is played everywhere in the world. Because there isn’t much space available in some countries to play outdoor football, there is a need to play indoors. I even remember in my childhood days that we would play futsal during the winter in Switzerland. It’s important that, in FIFA’s various member associations, futsal leagues and tournaments are organised to develop futsal further. We should start developing futsal at national and confederation level. This would be a first step in the development of futsal.
On the possible inclusion of futsal at the Olympics
We already tried to bring in beach soccer to the Olympics, as we could use the same stadia they are using for beach volleyball. In football, we already have a privileged position, with 28 teams – 12 women’s and 16 men’s – participating in two tournaments at the Olympics. The demand is increasing, and futsal is one of the disciplines we are trying to get in. But for the time being, we are on the waiting list.
Manilal Fernando, Chairman of the Futsal Committee
On women’s and youth futsal competitions:
A proposal has been made to the Futsal Committee to try and include women’s futsal competitions, and we will study this proposal thoroughly. So far, we have not yet looked at the youth structure; we will need a bit of time for this.
Suwat Liptapanlop, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee
It was a real high honour for us to host this FIFA Futsal World Cup. It has encouraged the development in Thailand, created a positive image of the country and brought happiness to the Thai people. We have learned our lessons from this competition and want to organise bigger events in the future.
Worawo Makudi, President of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT)
On behalf of FAT, I would like to thank the FIFA president for bringing a Football for Hope initiative to a politically disturbed area in southern Thailand (Pattani, Yala, Narathivas, Sonkhla), so that football can help to overcome the problems in this region and connect from the youth to the senior levels. It’s a very good sign for Thailand.